This summer is likely to be hotter than usual in most parts of northwest, west, central, and south India, according to the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD’s) forecast released on Thursday. In the remaining meteorological subdivisions, the average temperature is expected to be near normal in the summer months (March to May).
Northwest India comprises UP, Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are parts of central India, while Gujarat and Maharashtra come under west India.
Day temperatures are likely to be above normal by 0.5 degree Celsius over Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Chandigarh, western Uttar Pradesh, eastern Rajasthan, parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, the Saurashtra and Kutch regions of Gujarat, Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathawada, Vidharbha, north interior and coastal Karnataka, and Kerala. The rest of the country is likely to experience near-normal maximum temperatures (between -0.5 degree Celsius and 0.5 degree Celsius).
Regarding monsoons, there is good news: El Niño (a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns) is expected to be neutral in the March-May period, which precedes the rains. But a clearer picture on it is expected to come around April, when the IMD releases its official first monsoon forecast.
The water level in major reservoirs as of February 20 was 101.87 billion cubic metres (BCM) — 54 per cent more than in the corresponding period last year.
The southwest monsoon in 2019 (June to September) delivered 10 per cent above-average rainfall in the country, the highest in 25 years. In 1994, the rainfall was 110 per cent during the June-September period. Before that, more than 10 per cent above average rainfall was witnessed in 1990 (119 per cent).
The excess rainfall last year not only flooded several cities and towns, but also caused damage to standing kharif crop in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh (its eastern part).